Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Questions and Answers from Community Night

What can we do to promote and introduce fair trade products on Cedarville’s campus? 

 HYPERLINK "http://www.sustainabletable.org/schools/dining/http://www.sustainabletable.org/schools/dining/


Campus Progress ( HYPERLINK "http://www.campusprogress.org/" http://www.campusprogress.org/) offers grants to student groups who campaign for change on their college campuses.  They would be more than willing to offer a grant to a student group seeking to turn their campus into a fair trade campus.  

Where can we get fair trade products in our community or online? 

There are many online resources useful for finding fair trade products in your area.  Many people asked about where to buy fair trade clothing.  One great and simply way of exercising your purchasing power to benefit the community is through shopping at thrift stores.  Many thrift stores are associated with non-profit organizations that give back to the community.   

Here are two useful web resources:



Also, there is a list of local fair trade shops on the back of our program from the event. 

How can students or members of local communities start their own buying co-ops? 

 HYPERLINK "http://www.coopamerica.orgwww.coopamerica.org


How can we effectively fight sweat shop conditions through fair trade? 

 HYPERLINK "http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/stop/http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/stop/

 HYPERLINK "http://www.nmass.org/nmass/articles/8myths.htmlhttp://www.nmass.org/nmass/articles/8myths.html

 HYPERLINK "http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/03/news/international/pluggedin_fortune/http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/03/news/international/pluggedin_fortune/

What is the relationship between organic and fair trade products?

The terms organic and fair trade are not the same, although often related.  Here is the official definition of organic:

Organic: Organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed.  It includes a system of production, processing, distribution and sales that assures consumers that the products maintain the organic integrity that begins on the farm. (Organic Trade Association)

Many fair trade products are organic.  Pesticides are known to harm harvesters, so if something is not organic, it’s probably not certified fair trade either. 

How can farmers and producers get involved in fair trade? 

 HYPERLINK "http://www.localharvest.org/csa/http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

What is the Trade Act of 2008? 


What is the relation of the fair trade movement to the globalization of trade by multinational organizations? 

Globalization in an economic sense is simply the expansion of markets and their interdependence throughout the world.  With respect to fair trade I assume when you use the term "multinational organizations" you mean Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).  These often promote fair trade, but they have increasingly been active in lobbying for governmental action, functioning like governments, and even sitting on UN panels and committees sometimes.  If you mean multinational corporations, these of course are business firms which do business in many parts of the world, either directly or through subsidiaries.  The fair trade movement tends to like NGOs but dislike corporations.  They like the NGOs because they are mainly advocacy groups for various causes including fair trade.  They don't like corporations because they generally look for the lowest cost producer/provider of crops or goods.  This is because they have to compete with other corporations to sell the final product to consumers.  There is a perception that these corporations pay only lowest prices or lowest wages if they actually employ people, and that they foster bad working conditions and low wages because they give an incentive to push costs down.  (Dr. Clauson)

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